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Webinar: The effects of non-native marsh grass (Phragmites australis) on coastal nitrogen cycling

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Wednesday, 10 November 2021, 12:00

Wednesday, November 10, 2021. 12:00 PM. Webinar: The effects of non-native marsh grass (Phragmites australis) on coastal nitrogen cycling. Mollie R. Yacano, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Sponsored by NOAA. More information here. Register here. (Requires Adobe Connect)

Abstract: The European haplotype of Phragmites australis is an aggressive and widespread invader in the United States, capable of growing in fresh, brackish, and fully saline habitats. It is typically considered a nuisance invader and is a common target for eradication, which is rarely successful. Though historically viewed as detrimental, studies have found P. australis performs closely to or outperforms native marsh plants in provision of ecosystems services such as carbon storage, sediment accretion, storm protection, and nitrogen removal. Our previous work established P. australis enhances sediment denitrification relative to native salt marsh habitats, but it is currently unknown if P. australis performs this ecosystem service equally across the wide range of habitats it inhabits in coastal urban areas. In addition, understanding impacts of eradication attempts on denitrification capacity is critical. Though we have not yet observed differences between net denitrification rates in P. australis sediments from most landscape settings or eradication treatments, we have found rates differ significantly between marine and brackish sites. Our work aims to provide context to understand potential impacts of invasion and control measures of P. australis across the coastal landscapes in Eastern North Carolina.

Bio(s): Mollie Yacano received a BA from Boston University and is currently a PhD candidate in the Piehler Lab at University of North Carolina's Institute of Marine Sciences. Her research focuses primarily on the role of invasive species on altering coastal biogeochemistry. She is particularly interested in how her research can be applied to better inform coastal management policies. She is the current North Carolina Sea Grant (NCSG) and North Carolina Coastal Reserve (NCCR) Fellow and was previously the NCSG and Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (APNEP) Fellow. She serves in leadership roles for the Scientific Research and Education Network (SciREN) and Growing Equity in Science & Technology (GEST), both aimed at increasing STEM literacy and visibility in K12 schools. She is also the founding member of the Eastern North Carolina chapter of the Society for Women in Marine Science (SWMS).

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